Yet part of me wanted a hero. Someone to look up to. So I began my search. I felt my hero should be female, like me. I also wanted someone who was successful in her own right--not because she'd married someone (Jackie Kennedy), or she'd inherited her wealth (Paris Hilton), or because she was pretty (Kim Kardashian). In the end, my mind kept coming back to Oprah.
But wasn't that a bit cliché? Didn't every woman in America admire Oprah? I wanted to be more original. The problem was the more I learned about Oprah, the more impressed I became. She'd grown up poor and suffered through prejudice, bad boyfriends and weight issues. Because of her intelligence and persistence, she'd become an icon. She spoke to women everywhere and used her wealth to build a girls' school in Africa. Best of all, her generosity felt sincere--not like a photo op. Oprah seemed real.
Another thing I admired about her was that she made a conscious decision not to become a mother. Why admire Oprah for not having kids? Because she knew her career would conflict with childrearing. Maintaining fame requires travel and attending events where she makes important contacts. Oprah chose not to have children raised by a nanny. In fact, her magazine was the first place where I read about women choosing to remain childless. The idea intrigued me so much that I wrote a novel about a woman questioning her choice.
So, for those of you still searching for a hero, I recommend Oprah. I’ve never seen her wear a cape, but sometimes she does wear tights.
YOUR TURN TO COMMENT: What woman do you most admire?